Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fantastic Saturday, rainy Sunday

This weekend the BBC weather people got it right: they said – or rather their map indicated – that there would be rain during the night and then, by around 7am, the rain would move north, leaving the South East clear. I remember the rain in the night. It poured down and I could hear it hitting the conservatory roof, but by 7am, while wet and grey outside, the rain had stopped. When Phil arrived we both look skywards and while there was a nagging feeling that we might get a soaking en route to the Tatsfield Bus Stop (always a safe bet destination in rainy weather because it's covered) I put my trust in the weather people and headed off to Warlingham Green where Andy was waiting (and feeling a lot better after his cold).

From left: Andy, yours truly and Phil at Tatsfield Bus Stop, Saturday.
As we headed off along the Limpsfield Road, the skies above brightened, revealing blue skies and white clouds. We turned left just after Warlingham Sainsbury's and took the slow, more scenic route to the bus stop, albeit a slighter harder route in terms of general exertion. The quiet roads are far better than the 269, which always has cars racing in both directions. With the more scenic route we can talk more, except when we reach Hesiers Hill, which needs all the concentration we can muster. Hesiers is dangerous: a steep downhill lane with a couple of nasty blind corners. Only fools would descend without a wary hand on the brakes.

Once at the bottom, like a roller coaster, the road takes an upward curve and becomes Beddlestead Lane, a long, slow climb towards Clarks Lane, but very scenic with empty fields left and right and sunshine creating a strobing effect on the eyes through the gauze created by the shrubs and bushes.

Last week mist and horses, this week a hazy sunshine.
Reaching the bus stop is always a delight, especially once the tea and cereal bars are brought out. We chatted about what we'd do if won many millions on the EuroMillions. I said I'll buy a huge house on the South Coast, one with plenty of space, and then I'd build a ghost train and have it so that the entrance and exit – you know, the swing doors the trains crash through – are on either side of a grand fireplace.

I've given up buying Lotto tickets because I don't believe in the ticket price rise from £1 to £2. It's all about greed, hence my decision to no longer bother, although I will continue with EuroMillions at work   and I might buy a Lotto ticket once a month. However, whenever I'm in a supermarket I always think, 'ah! I'll buy a Lotto ticket!' And then I remember that it's now £2 and I think of the fat cat bastard – there must be one at the top of Camelot – and then I decide not to bother.

Andy's bike on Warlingham Green
Sunday – rained all day, 

The same BBC weather forecasters who predicted Saturday's weather were equally right about Sunday's. What was annoying about Sunday was me leaving my mobile phone in the bedroom as both Andy and Phil sent out messages. Andy's was 'abort' due to rain; Phil's read, "BBC forecast is 'mist' 7am to 8am then 'heavy rain' 8am to 6pm. Just thought I'd ask what the likely consensus might be before I start the bacon sandwiches!"

Now, had my mobile phone been on the desk or anywhere downstairs I would have read this (and Andy's text) and sent back an 'abort' to Phil.

Moments later Phil sent another text, which again fell upon deaf ears; "Past the point of no return. Bacon going in now..."

I, meanwhile, had prepared the tea and was ready to go out. But now I'd checked my phone and seen Andy's 'abort' text. Phil was on the doorstep in high viz jacket and waterproofs. The rain had started, he said, and it sure had. "Let's not go, it'll be unpleasant," I said – or words to that effect – but as Phil was up and dressed (and certainly prepared for a ride) he said he would press on, so respect is due to Phil for a second ride in the rain, alone.

Before he set off, Phil gave me my bacon sandwich. I had a bit of work to do so I ate it in front of the computer screen. In fact, the only bonus in there being rain this morning was that I got my work done early and could chill for the rest of the day. I didn't do much: we had stir-fry and noodles for lunch followed by a drive to mum's for fruit cake and tea, then we bought a cake in Waitrose and the plan now is to sit and watch The Mayor of Casterbridge on television.

A strange-looking mist on Sanderstead Green last weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Matthew, Looks like a lot of miles, and quality miles at that, for you guys lately. I cannot believe the beauty of the roads there. They are a part of the land, not an intrusion smashed through it. Our roads have to be created with huge, empty margins on the sides and they are not interesting when built that way. No wonder so few people ride bikes to get around. Keep it up guys! Riding my birthday ride on Tuesday, 48 miles for 48 years!